This makes me happy. I wish someone would record the sound, which must be amazing. I bet you can hear it a long way off; it’d make a great sound-track for Mordor.
[I’m sorry, by the way, if this blog is a bit light and fluffy lately. I’m trying to keep my mind on the good things, not the horrible situation that we are all in. Except I’m aware that the horrible situation will probably never get better, ever, again.]
Jalopnik describes a fascinating system that is being used to disassemble a capsized boat full of cars. [jalopnik]
So, if you have a ship-load of cars and they’re not loaded with correct balance, the ship can tip and then it never un-tips. How does one correct that? You can’t go inside it and re-balance the contents; the ship is junk and needs to be scrapped. This is known as “one hell of an expensive mistake.”For one thing, there’s the cost of the ship. And the cost of 4,000 Kia and Hyundai cars. And the cost of getting the wreck taken apart and moved. I recommend you read the full article [again: jalopnik] if you are interested in this kind of stuff, because I don’t have much to add. Except for my “holy shiiiiiit!”
Wait, what? That’s a cross-section of a car-carrier ship! Cars included.
I would have expected they’d take the ship apart slowly and painfully with oxy/acetylene torches and hazmat controls (I assume the cars have gasoline in each of their tanks…) at tremendous expense. Not that this is cheap in either case, but it’s a brilliant hack.
So, you build some gigantic floating crane-things on barges, which can support a large chain (shown above) looped under the ship – then the chain saws back and forth like Sauron’s own cheese-wire and slices the ship into manageable chunks. Those are 80-lb links each of which is 3 feet long.
Incidentally, old wrought iron ship anchor chains are prized by knife-makers particularly, because they’re perfectly sized for making hammers and whatnot. This chain would not be wrought iron, but … wow. Also related, there is various footage on youtube of how anchor chain, which is still a necessary commodity, is made and that’s pretty intense, too. You just take some, you know, 12-foot long bars of 3″ diameter steel at welding temperature and use a hydraulic actuator to bend the bars around a pair of mandrels and weld them at the contact-point. Then you weld in the center-piece which, since it’s not load-bearing, is usually plain old cast iron. Those chain links are too intense for a typical blacksmith, but I know folks who’ll sell you half of a link of victorian anchor-chain for $150 and it is some of the yummiest wrought iron you’ve ever seen — too bad it costs $130 to ship it.
You can make your own grindy mouth-noises as you imagine what that chain sounds like as it slides back and forth. I assume various parts of the ship resonate at different frequencies, though mostly the chain is doing its work under water (where it is lubricated and cooled by the water; very clever).
The sound my brain fills in is kind of like “GRONK GRONK GRONK GRONK” except it goes on a long time.